My Summer, 2014

Sadly, for us University students, nearly all of us have reached the point of packing up our things and moving back for another academic year.

I bet some of you are wondering what I have spent my summer doing, and whether there was any summer work I needed to undertake before starting my final year at The Manchester School of Art …

For the majority of the summer, I have earned money from a nil hours job which I regularly go back to during academic holidays, and spent some quality time with some of my old school friends. I have had one of the best summers on record – even despite working long days – but now it is time to knuckle back down to some proper work.

At the beginning of the summer, we were all asked to submit no more than 100 words outlining an initial idea/topic in which would be used for our extended essays (dissertation).


My initial proposal:

I have chosen to write my extended essay based around the theories of how architecture evolved, how rules were first made and how these have influenced and driven architects today. I have chosen to write my extended essay based around this topic as I have realised though beginning to read the Classical Language of Architecture by John Summerson, Vitruvius’ Ten Books on Architecture and Ideas that Shaped Buildings by Fil Hearn that I have a great interest in the Greek and Roman origins of Architecture. I hope over the summer that my research will narrow down into a more specific area of this subject, and have a better idea as to what exactly I will be arguing.

Following this a month or two later, we were emailed a file in which outlined the various tasks in which we were to undertake over the summer to prepare us all for our final year. Unlike other university courses who’s second and third years count, it is only my upcoming third year which counts towards my whole degree. So the pressure is well and truly on.


Here is an outline of my summer tasks …

  1. Generate a Timeline of your Summer.

“A timeline is a graphic representation of a passage of time … A reflection of how you have spent your time this summer … Measured in physical time, emotions, footsteps, bus tickets, beer, donuts, news stories … anything! You should professionally present this either as a book, banner, or set of objects … We are very particular about the presentation of work … The idea is to really focus you on the minutiae of life or bigger issues which effect your everyday…”

2. Generate a Manifesto.

“The manifesto is a public declaration of your aims and intentions, as a designer… What you are passionate – or not passionate – about. (Perhaps the timeline will help stimulate this)… Any occurrence which evokes a zeal to do something about it via your role as a designer.”

3. Generate a Bibliography.

“…begin to research for your extended essay, and start to generate a bibliography… Should be a minimum of 3 books or journals which relate to your topics of discovery.”


We have been told that these tasks will not be assessed, however they will all contribute towards our final major projects and the extended essays … It isn’t intended to be overwhelming but I cannot help feel as though these tasks will be difficult (in terms of thinking).


Fingers crossed!


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